Excerpt from The Florist, Fruitist, and Garden Miscellany, 1853, Vol. 6
The best time to plant is about the middle of February; but before this can be done, the surface of the bed must be made per fectly level with the edging, the distance between the rows, either five or six inches, should be marked on the edging the quickest and easiest method to plant, is to draw drills across the bed with a trowel exactly one and a half inches deep. To ascertain the proper depth, I use a notched board, that rests on the wood edge. When the drill is the proper depth, plant the roots firmly in the ground, so that the crowns may be covered the exact one and a half inches (ten large roots of strong-growing kinds are enough for a row of a bed four feet wide, when the roots are small twelve to fourteen may be planted) the roots being properly placed, return the soil to the drill and level it carefully, proceeding in the same manner until the bed is all planted.
After planting, until the young foliage begins to appear (which will be about the first week in April), keep down the ravages of the earth-worm, close all cracks on the surface, and in the event of severe frost throw some mats over the bed during the night. As the leaves break the surface, relieve them by loosening the soil and closing it round the neck of the plants; when the latter are all up, then stir the soil carefully between the rows, breaking it fine (i use a garden spud for this purpose), of course taking great care not to cut the plants.
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